Thursday, March 23, 2023

Outlook for Mac is now free and can be used without a Microsoft 365 subscription

Microsoft advertisement that Outlook for Mac will be free starting today. That means users won’t require a Microsoft 365 subscription or additional license to use it. The decision comes after a redesign of the mail client with a view to harnessing the power of Apple processors.

Outlook for Mac offers the same features as the Windows versionsuch as support for multiple iCloud email accounts, Gmail, Yahoo, and more. Users will have access to a unified tray, as well as a general search on all accounts. Access to calendar, contacts and files is also provided.

What differentiates the version of Outlook for Mac is that It is optimized for Apple Silicon and integrates other functions, such as widgets for the calendar, reminders in the notification center, as well as a mini-app to view your schedule in the menu bar. also offered handoff supportin which you can switch from the iOS app to macOS to continue working where you left off.

Microsoft confirmed that it is working on other features that will be released in the future. Outlook profiles is one of them, and allows connect email accounts to Focus. By doing so, you will not receive personal email notifications so it will be easier to focus on work and vice versa.

Outlook for Mac has a design similar to that of the mobile applications, so it won’t be very difficult to adapt if you already use them. Microsoft confirmed that Outlook for Mac is a version redesigned from the ground up to take advantage of the features of Apple’s operating system. Judging by today’s announcement, the technology company is committed to positioning its email client with a view to integrating functions powered by AI.

Outlook and other Microsoft apps will embrace AI

The multi-billion dollar investment in OpenAI and Bing’s debut with ChatGPT are just a glimpse of what Microsoft is planning. The technology is testing the GPT model in various applications of the Office suite. In the case of Outlook, the idea is to improve search results based on the context provided by the user in the search bar.

In accordance with The Informationthe integration of ChatGPT in Outlook would help us write an email without much effort. Just say “write an email explaining that I’m on vacation” and the AI ​​will work its magic, in a similar way to what we currently see with other texts. Artificial intelligence can also suggest replies to emails based on its content.

While the idea of ​​having an AI assistant compose emails or filter spam sounds appealing, the truth is that there are several challenges to implement it. The first of these is privacy, as Microsoft needs to ensure that its artificial intelligence operates without compromising the personal data of its users.

Apple is an obstacle for apps with ChatGPT

The second challenge is Apple itself, which recently blocked an email client with ChatGPT. He Wall Street Journal reports that those of Cupertino delayed the approval of the most recent update of BlueMail because it had the popular chatbot. The reason? Apple thinks it might show inappropriate content for children.

BlueMail uses ChatGPT to compose emails, add calendar events or chat with its AI. Apple offered as an alternative that the app would increase the age restriction to 17 years or older, otherwise it would have to include a content filter. Given this, the developer assured that they already had a content filter and declared that restricting the app would limit its distribution.

“Apple is making it very difficult for us to bring innovation to our users”

Ben Volach, co-founder of BlueMail

Apple has always stated that You must take care of the security of the products you distribute in the App Store. The idea of ​​delaying the approval of apps with ChatGPT like BlueMail would make sense if we consider the controversy of Bing and its AI that lost control. However, some consider that this brake would also affect the development of this technology.

As the AI-powered version of Outlook arrives, users can download the client for macOS from the App Store.

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